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【China.org.cn】US law professor: China-US trade tension a symptom, not a disease

Friday,Jun 29, 2018

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China are about more than trade. They are about culture, anxieties, and in particular, they aren’t about China at all, Frank Wu, professor at University of California Hastings College of Law, shared his personal view on the issue during a lecture at a Beijing think tank on Wednesday.

Frank Wu, professor at University of California Hastings College of Law, lectures at the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing on June 27, 2018. [Photo by Li Xiaohua / China.org.cn]

China-US trade tension "is a symptom, not the disease, it is just one small piece of something much, much bigger," said Wu during his keynote speech at the Center for China and Globalization.

Wu is also president of the New York-based Committee of 100, an influential non-profit membership organization in the Chinese-American community in the U.S.

Wu admitted it might seem funny to say that the rhetoric directed at China isn’t about China. He went on to explain that it’s also about what’s happening inside America, about American domestic politics. The key to understanding the rhetoric is to look beyond the rhetoric -- with U.S. mid-terms quickly approaching, it’s important for candidates to appeal to their voter base.

"China is being blamed for America’s internal problems, along with Mexicans, Muslims, and now shockingly Canadians," Wu said.

According to Wu, part of the trade deficit is driven on the American side by consumer spending habits, with America now a debtor nation. "Those who say it’s better not to deal with China don’t realize that if China stopped buying American debt, the American economy would collapse. It would be terrible for America and Americans if China sought to disengage and didn’t continue to prop up the U.S. economy through the purchase of treasury bills," he said.

Wu also applauded China’s leadership and its people for what they have accomplished. However, he said that China’s rise is also threatening for Americans who are accustomed to seeing China as an impoverished and struggling third world nation.

"They aren’t accustomed to seeing China as a global power. They see China as a challenging force in Africa with the Belt and Road Initiative, in the South China Sea, and elsewhere. Not just in terms of trade, but in terms of influence, soft power, in terms of culture, in every way, China is rising," said Wu, "and China’s rise affects American perception.”


From China.org.cn,2018-6-28

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    The relationship between China and the US in the economy and trade as well as people-to-people exchanges is closer than ever, and neither side could stand the cost of cutting these ties. Both countries should recognize that under the Trump administration, they still need to continue with a working relationship that benefits not only themselves, but also the rest of the world.

  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative promotes connectivity, development along ancient route

    More than three years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Looking back at 2016, the Belt and Road Initiative has gained fruitful early achievements, promoting connectivity and opening up possibilities and potentials for development along the ancient trade route.

  • 【South China Morning Post】What’s the price of a trade war truce?

    Exporters in Brazil, Australia and Russia could feel the pinch if China switches suppliers of some of its big-ticket imports to head off a trade war with the United States, according to analysts.

  • [The Wall Street Journal] A Limit to China’s Economic Rise: Not Enough Babies

    “I think Xi’s views about demography are clear: He considers population more as a resource than a burden,” said Huang Wenzheng, a researcher at the Center for China and Globalization(CCG), a Beijing-based independent think tank, and a co-founder of a hedge-fund firm that invests globally. “But of course he cannot easily abandon the family-planning policy because that would be a sharp turn away from his predecessors’ policies.”

  • Emanuel Pastreich: Too good to be true

    It is possible, of course, that Trump and Kim are feeling some positive vibes. Whether it is their “military-first” policies, their nepotistic and kleptomaniac habits or their cult of the self, they probably have lots to talk about.